Lonely protector: Pustý hrad

Even high atop the hill, the place is never silent.

Pustý hradPustý hrad (Source: VaGa)

As soon as he heard about it, he wanted to see and experience it. The magnificence of the largest castle complex in Europe!

And now, today, his daughter Constance is getting married there. Bringing joy and festiveness to Pustý hrad castle, above Zvolen!

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King Belo IV. was at ease, the Mongols had finally withdrawn. Walking through the blooming cherries trees, he designed the recovery plan for the country.

One of the castles, which survived the Mongol decimation was the stony Pustý hrad castle, one of the oldest early mediaeval castles in Slovakia.

Burnt down after battle

Built at the end of the 12th century at a height of 475 – 571 m it was first mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum at the beginning of the 13th century as a large fortress. It consists of two castle subjects, the Low and the High castles, connected with a 400 m long tunnel. The whole area covers 76,000 sq.

The blue marked hiking path to the castle starts in front of the ice-hockey stadium in Zvolen. The 20-minute walk through the forest will bring you to a meadowy plain, to the Low castle. There your eyes will be drawn to the old residential Donjon tower, one of the oldest in Central Europe. And it was here a great battle was fought in the 15th century. The lord of the castle, John Jiskra of Brandýs, a Czech strategist and mercenary soldier was defeated, and the castle partially burnt by his arch rival, John Hunyadi, the father of future Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus.

From the Low castle, a short uphill walk and several wooden steps leads you to Donč castle and its entrance gate.

No silence

And even here high atop the hill, there is no silence. The melody is provided by bird song. The percussion from traffic down below. And always constant is the sound from the rivers, the waters from the Slatina and the Hron (the second largest river in Slovakia), which meet below the castle.

Or the silence of your thoughts is broken by your goals.

Maybe you decide to run a marathon.

Or to conquer the 750 km long Trail of the Heroes of the Slovak National Uprising (Cesta hrdinov SNP).

Or bike the entirety of the Slovak mountains.

Wandering spirits

Or to explore all the Slovak castles.

On your roads, you can be alone. You can be isolated or lonely.

Like castles.

Once they ensured quiet sleep and protected trade roads.

They were important. Today they are almost forgotten.

And they live only in legends.

When you look around Pustý hrad castle, you will see flowering lilies. And you might remember the old fisherman and his beautiful daughter, whose lives were ended by the cruel castle lord. It is said, that on clear nights, when the moon is full, they walk together through the grounds. And as he touches a beech tree, it turns white, and in his daughter's footsteps, lilies sprout.

VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, cycling, and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offer undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: vaga.agency and www.vaga-camp.com.

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